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A Walk in the Park

On a father-daughter trip into Montana's Glacier backcountry, they moaned, they whined, they cried. And that was just the dads.

By Steve Hendrix
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, June 20, 2004; Page P01

It was a rock like many other rocks.

Actually, it was like every other rock, indistinguishable from the thousands of identical rocks surrounding it along the trail.

But we stopped to look at it anyway.

On a father-daughter backpacking trip in Montana's Glacier National Park, the author communed with nature, his child (left) and her friend. (Jim Sebastian)

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"Is it an arrowhead?" asked Isabel, her hands on her knees.

"I think it's an arrowhead," said Dillon, bending over.

It wasn't an arrowhead. It was a rock (see above) that happened to taper to a vague point at one end. But still, we looked.

Twenty paces later, we stopped again.

"Look at this one," said Dillon, squatting.

"Mmmmmm," said Isabel, peering.

And thus we hiked -- if that's the right word -- for six miles into the backcountry of Montana's Glacier National Park. We were two dads -- Jim Sebastian of Takoma Park and myself -- and two daughters -- both just shy of 7 -- on a one-night backpacking trip through Glacier's peak-to-pebble marvels. Having watched them master soccer, outgrow all the boys in first grade and show at least as much interest in spiders and snakes as in Barbies and Bratz, we decided Dillon and Isabel would nicely round out a backcountry foursome.

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